Smartphone Knowledge

I've heard the argument before. The expensive price tag on the iPhone is justified by the applications that it runs. It sounds like a good argument, but when the calculators come out, it doesn't work. So, what's a smartphone worth?

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What Can It Replace?

  • Obviously, the purchase of a smartphone can replace a landline telephone, as can a cheaper cell phone. The landline cost is going to save about $400 a year; the smartphone will cost about $1,500 for the first year.

  • Smartphones, like any cell phone, automatically update time changes and keep an accurate calendar. Unless you travel often and extensively, this is a gadget that doesn't warrant any savings.

  • Smartphones offer a calculator and other gadgets that can easily be found in any office or any laptop. Its value? Space. You can't fit a laptop into your pocket.

  • A smartphone can replace your portable game player which probably cost $100 or more without games.

  • Your new smartphone is your new e-reader. Remember, the game player and e-reader are one-time purchases starting at $100 while the smartphone has ongoing contract costs.
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  • The ability to carry a digital camera and camcorder combined with your cell phone in your pocket is a definite convenience. Yet, the quality of the video is poor in comparison to stand alone cameras. For quick moments, they're cute. However, if you're looking to capture your son's first steps, put the camera away.

  • If you're in a business meeting and need a voice recorder, the smartphone will step up but a separate voice recorder only costs $40 for a basic model.

  • A smartphone can double as your portable music player saving you another $100 at least.

  • It carries most of your laptop's apps, but it can't replace the laptop altogether. It will work for on-the-go moments, providing convenience rather than monetary savings.

  • While there's Internet access and a data plan, there's no way a smartphone can replace current Internet plans, so the $25 monthly Internet access fee isn't saving anything.
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What Makes It So Smart?

For those who pulled out their smartphones and tallied all the above features (or those who used the tried and true pen and paper), the smartphone won't save money like it claims. For serious purposes, stand alone products are needed. While video capabilities have grown with each new edition of the iPhone, those who are looking for high quality video or photo editing applications aren't going to be happy with it. It can't store all of your photos like a digital camera and memory card can, and it won't offer the type of musical playback that an iPod or mp3 player will.

What it does offer is convenience. It's convenient to bring the phone to a meeting and organize your calendar, record the meeting, and access your e-mail without bringing several different gadgets. However, most people walking down the street don't need these applications. They use the phone for gaming, online networking, and random applications. For that, it's far overpriced.

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October 6, 20110 found this helpful

I get many of these features on the phone I got free with my ATT phone contract, few cost me extra.

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October 7, 20110 found this helpful

I'm preparing to take the plunge and get a smartphone. I'm looking forward to to the aps that will let me compare prices when shopping. I don't have any of the 'extras' the author mentions; therefore I'm not out all those dollars paid for those - lap-top, digital camera, music player, etc. I have a camera on my old old phone now and I download as soon as I get home;I use the 'timer' to remind me of things to do (saves on cooking, watering, picking up children).

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I won't have to turn the phone off. I can receive texts without bothering those around me. It will cost me $35 more a month, but I'm figuring it will be more fun and more usable! Thanks for the information though!

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October 7, 20110 found this helpful

I am so glad you posted this; I have been going back and forth trying to decide if I was going to get one. So, no I'm not. I wouldn't use it to warrant the extra charge from ATT. Thanks

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